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Yanwath Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Yane-which; Yainwath; Yaneworth; Yavenewith

In the civil parish of Yanwath And Eamont Bridge.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY50772818
Latitude 54.64617° Longitude -2.76424°

Yanwath Hall has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Fortified tower and hall. Early or mid C15 with C16 and C17 alterations. Walls of large blocks of squared pink sandstone; tower on chamfered plinth with string course, battlemented parapet and projecting water spouts. Hall and kitchen range have steeply-pitched red sandstone slate roof with large and small red sandstone chimney stacks; tower flat roof behind parapet. Low 2-storey, 5-bay hall range; left 3-storey rectangular tower. Off-centre studded plank door in C16 segmental-arched doorway within C20 wood trellis porch. At left the hall with C15 fenestration: a 2-light cusped-headed window and a projecting bay with similar windows on 2 levels, all with iron grilles. Extreme left small chamfered-surround window under C16 3-light double-chamfered stone-mullioned window with hoodmould. Over entrance a blocked C15 window opening (wrongly identified as a straight joint by RCHM, Westmorland, 1936, p.250) with inserted C17 3-light mullioned-and-transomed window; similar right window over a flue door and C20 casement. Right 2-light stone-mullioned windows on both floors under hoodmoulds. Extreme right small shaped opening, in firewindow position has been identified as a gun loop. Tower has small ground-floor chamfered- surround window under 5-light mullioned-and-transomed window and second-floor double-chamfered window. A right upper-floor garderobe loop. Turrets at each angle. Other walls of tower have similar windows, except for a C14 ogee-headed window which could be reused. Rear of hall range has off-centre early tracery-panelled door in moulded round-arched doorway under hoodmould. Right C15 2-light cusped-headed window in double-chamfered surround flanked by stepped buttresses. Extreme right C16 round-headed door gives access to internal entrance to tower; 2-light stone-mullioned window above. Left small chamfered-surround window and cross-vent stone. Upper floor mullioned-and-transomed window with round-headed lights. Over entrance a small ogee-headed opening, chamfered-surround opening and 2-light window, all blocked. Interior: Hall has C15 and C16 segmental-arched stone fireplaces. C16 stone doorways. C15 timber roof trusses. Drawbar tunnels to most exterior doors. Wall-mounted C16 painted clock face. Barrel-vaulted tower basement; spiral stone staircase and garderobe chambers above. C16 decorative plaster ceilings and Royal Arms of Elizabeth I. (Listed Building Report)

Yanwath Hall (Plate 160), in the N.W. corner of the parish, is of two and three storeys; the walls are of rubble with some ashlar-facing and the roofs are slate-covered. The house forms three sides of a courtyard. The tower is said to have been built by John de Sutton in 1322 and to this date may belong the rubble-faced lower part; the range adjoining it on the E. may be partly of this date also, but only as far as the straight joint W. of the entrance. Early in the 15th century, when the house belonged to the family of Threlkeld, this range was largely re-built and extended towards the E. The E. range was built perhaps also in the 15th century. Early in the 16th century the property passed to the Dudley family when the upper part of the tower was re-built; the plaster-work and large windows in the second stage were probably inserted by Edmund Dudley in 1586. The N. and S. walls of the kitchen and the E. side of the E. range were re-built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century and about the same time the N. range was built. Various minor alterations were made in the 17th century and the house passed to the Lowther family in 1671.
The house is an important example of a mediæval and later semi-fortified building and contains some good plaster-work.
The Tower, at the S.W. angle, is of three storeys with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet, carried up at the angles to form turrets. The N., S. and W. sides have each a 16th-century window, at the first floor level, of five transomed lights with a moulded label. The other windows are small square-headed openings except one on the W. which is a single 14th-century light with a trefoiled ogee head. The ground-storey of the tower has a segmental barrelvault of stone. The room on the first floor has a 16th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and triangular arch in a square head; above it is a plaster panel with the royal arms (Plate 50) of Queen Elizabeth. The ceiling has two intersecting moulded beams with nail-head ornament and a pendant (Plate 160) at the intersection, consisting of four free ribs and a boss; this is probably the ceiling that in Machell's time had three coats-of-arms and the date 1586; the E. wall has a cornice and a frieze with arabesque ornament. On the W. wall is a corbel carved with the bust of a man. In the N.W. angle is a garde-robe and there is a second on the floor above. The room on the second floor has an open 16th-century roof (Plate 160) of four bays with moulded tie-beams with nail-head ornament and embattled plates; the middle purlin has flat-curved braces. In the W. wall is a square-headed fireplace and above it are traces of painting on the plaster; the windows in the E. and S. walls have embrasures with seats; in the E. wall are two lockers; the entrance passage and the garde-robe have each a round bowl and drain. The S. front of the main block or S. range, has towards the W. end a 15th-century bay-window or oriel of the former hall; it is of three trefoiled and transomed lights in a square head; further E. is a second 15th-century window of two trefoiled lights; the other windows are mainly of the 16th or 17th century and include two, each of three transomed lights in a square head; the doorway to the former screens is probably of the 17th century and has a round head. The N. side of this range, has a 15th-century window of two trefoiled lights and a number of 16th and 17th-century windows; there is also a cruciform loop, towards the E. end, now blocked. The early 16th-century doorway to the screens has moulded jambs, round arch and label; it is fitted with a door with a form of linen-fold panelling and an elaborately traceried head. The return of the plinth of the tower for a short distance along this wall indicates the existence of an earlier range on the same site; the presence of a row of corbels on the tower below the existing roof of the range provides further evidence of this earlier building. Inside the range, the main part was occupied by the hall, with the screens at the E. end and the kitchen beyond. The hall has had a ceiling inserted and also some partitions. The 15th-century roof (Plate 29) is of three bays; the trusses have collar-beams and king-posts and curved and moulded braces below the collars, forming four-centred arches; the king-posts have foiled braces to the ridge and there are similar braces to the purlins. The screens are separated by a solid wall, probably a 16th-century insertion, and having a doorway with a four-centred head; on the W. face of the wall is a fireplace with a gallery, resting on a segmental arch, to the S. of it. On the W. wall of the hall is a late 16th-century clockface (Plate 58) of painted boarding; it has a dial with the sun and moon above and figures of men below; on a scroll is the motto "Sic transit gloria mundi"; flanking the main panel are two bands of conventional ornament. In a room on the first floor, W. of the hall, is a 16th-century fireplace with a square moulded head; the room has remains of a moulded plaster cornice. In the E. wall of the screens-passage is a late 14th-century doorway with a two-centred head; the door is old and has two heavy strap-hinges. The kitchen fireplace has a wide segmental arch. The E. range is probably of the 15th century but the E. wall, except for the ashlar-faced portion at the N. end, has been re-built in the 17th century. The range is crossed by an entrance-passage with modern openings at each end. In the W. wall are three 15th-century doorways with pointed heads. In the E. wall are some 17th-century windows and a doorway with moulded jambs and square head. The N. wall is ashlar-faced in its upper part and finished with a 16th-century embattled parapet, returned on corbels a short distance along the E. wall; this stands free above the roof of the range forming a sort of elongated turret. Inside the range is a fireplace with a four-centred head and above it a projecting mantel with a flat four-centred arch springing from corbels. There are remains of a roof of king-post type. The N. range is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. It retains a number of windows of this period and four doorways with segmental or four-centred heads. The cartway or entrance passage, crossing the range has a wide segmental arch at each end, of no great age. The roof, towards the E. end is original and has moulded principals and chamfered tie-beams and collars. (RCHME 1936)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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